Update On The Enbridge Blockade in Michigan

24 Jul

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands Needs Your Support!  11 arrests, four people face felony charges.

Donate to their legal support here

from MI-CATS

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands activists directly halted business on July 22nd at the Stockbridge Enbridge construction site. Show your solidarity by donating to our bail fund, or taking direct action against Enbridge on your own, with your friends!

commrades at jail

Here are some thoughts written by a couple of folks who participated in the action:

My name is Virginia. I am 63 years old and I am tired. Tired of decades of fighting greedy corporations raping & pillaging the beautiful planet I knew as a young woman for oil & money.

Each day people are getting sicker. Entire species are going extinct and I wonder; will my granddaughter’s generation become extinct as well?

Carbon levels are at an all time high and some environmentalists predict that at this rate, human beings may have 40 more years to live if the carbon levels aren’t reversed immediately. According to Forbes, 7 of the 10 wealthiest corporations in the world are oil companies. My years on earth are few however I have left to live, I want my grand daughters generation to live and enjoy the beauty of the world as my generation once knew it to be.


My name is Al Smith. I am a 49 year old man and a laborer by trade. I am
 writing this on behalf of my wife Vicci Hamlin who may be facing
 felony charges. Also, I want to explain to those who may have 
preconceived notions of who and what we are as activists.

My wife Vicci is currently locked up in the Ingham County jail. I can
 only imagine she is feeling afraid and uncertain. Vicci is not a subversive radical. She is one of the kindest and most loving people that I have ever known. She is the mother of six children and grandmother of 8 children and great grandmother of 1. She has always loved people and believed in passivity in all sorts of stances. She has always stood up for others. She is passionate about women’s rights, civil rights, has helped start a food bank in Ohio. She has taught me more about love, kindness and compassion than anyone I have ever met.

Lately we have watched documentaries together and learned about people whose lives have been shattered by untouchable and obscenely wealthy corporations. These corporate entities who have so much political and legal power, that people like us are completely helpless before them. Since there is no longer any political or legal recourse left to us, we have only two options. We can either close our eyes and focus on ourselves, our families and our friends and try to find some solace while hiding from this overwhelming sense of doom and powerlessness, or we can take a stand. It’s painful and frightening to put ourselves on the line.

Vicci chose to disobey the authorities and lock herself to heavy machinery because we believe it is the only way for people to learn
 what we believe to be the truth. It doesn’t feel good to know we are stopping people like us from doing their jobs, nor does it feel good to have to tie up so many Public Safety officers. We believe there is
 no painless way to bring about a change that we believe is necessary. We feel our willingness to sacrifice our own safety and comfort is a place to start. We both believe if not us then who, if not now then when?

According to another person, Dakoda, it isn’t enough to simply stop this pipeline, or any single pipeline. Stopping tar sands development in whole, is not enough. In order to prevent climate disaster most of us fear, we must challenge the very nature of industrial civilization. Anything other than shattering the dominance over the land  this culture enables and this culture itself will fall short of creating any meaningful change.

fuck tar sands

We are a diverse group, with many different perspectives, from landowners, teachers, students, outdoors people, workers and parents. Our varied world views make us strong. We want the end of corporate abuse of the planet to happen today. We feel that the urgency of this cannot wait. Many of us wish to see an end to all fossil fuel extraction. We want people to be brave and stand up. We want to work together to elevate the issue of tar sands and the environmental classism and racism we see inherent in these industries. We want to nip these issues in the butt. Join us.

From their site:

The MI Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS) seeks to unite the people of Michigan towards a common goal of stopping all transportation and refining of tar sands oil in the state & advocating against the production/transportation of tar sands everywhere.
Want to learn more about tar sands? Check out this blog post to learn more about the issue and what is going on with Enbridge pipelines in Michigan: http://mistudentsustain.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/issue-briefs-part-1-tar-sands/
GOALS:– Stop the transportation and refining of tar sands oil in Michigan, as well as advocate for the end of all the tar sands production that causes so much harm to our friends and wildlife in Canada and on First Nation lands.–Spread awareness of Enbridge’s Midwest pipeline plans to a local and national audience in order to elevate this issue to a spot of national concern and priority and add more strength to the argument for an overarching need to restrict fossil fuel companies’ ability to pollute freely and damage our environment–Expose and reject the political power that oil and gas corporations, like Enbridge, use to corrupt our democratic, legal and regulatory systems to gain access to our natural resources with little benefit and in fact great harm to the public.

–Build a diverse and inclusive coalition of people who agree with these goals and can form a large grassroots base to harness and demonstrate our collective power while supporting everyone in voicing their perspectives in decisions impacting their well being.

–Be intentional about connecting with our brothers and sisters across the globe fighting against ecologically and socially exploitative and destructive practices that put profit and power before people and planet. We aim to amplify our collective voice to expand the movement of movements for a thriving, socially just, and sustainable planet.


–Education and grassroots organizing
–Direct action to delay/stop pipeline construction
–Support legal actions to delay/stop pipeline construction 

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